Mobile ownership

  • Pew Internet Project research from May 2013 found that 91% of US adult had a cell phone, while 56% have a smartphone.
  • Of those who own a smartphone, 28% have an Android device, 25% own an iPhone and 4% own a Blackberry.

  • Furthermore, 34% of mobile internet users admit that their smartphone is their primary device for going online.
  • 74% of adult smartphone owners aged 18 or older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location.
  • Further research from September 2013 found that 35% of Americans aged 16 or older own a tablet.
  • An April 2012 study from the Pew Internet Project found that 30% of mobile owners had used their phone in the previous 30 days to decide whether to visit a business, such as a restaurant.

M-commerce sales predicted to reach $25bn in 2013

  • In 2013 m-commerce sales among the 358 US merchants ranked in Internet Retailer’s 2014 Mobile 500 was predicted to reach $25.4bn. This is a 67% increase from 2012 when the figure stood at $15.2bn.
  • When the $8.8bn in US mobile commerce sales for eBay are included, total US mobile retail sales were predicted to grow about 64% to $34.2bn, up from $20.9bn in 2012.
  • The 358 US mobile retail sites ranked in the IR 2014 Mobile 500 account for 83% of the mobile commerce revenue generated by the world’s largest 500 mobile commerce and mobile retail competitors.
  • Apple, which came top in the Mobile 500, grew its total mobile sales about 25% in 2013 to $8.4bn.
  • Second-placed Amazon grew even quicker, doubling its mobile sales to $8bn in 2013, according to the report.

M-commerce spending reached  $4.7bn in Q2 2013

  • According to comScore, mobile commerce spending reached $4.7bn in Q2 2013 with a year-on-year growth rate of 24%.
  • For the first half of the year m-commerce spending accounted for $10.6bn, representing 10% of total digital commerce during that time.
  • Between Q2 2010 and Q2 2013 mobile commerce spending increased from $0.6bn to $4.7bn.

Tablets top smartphones

  • On average tablets account for 55% of m-commerce sales compared to 45% from smartphones, according to the IR Mobile 500.
  • The stats come from 43 retailers that brought in $991m in mobile sales in 2013. Of this total, $544m came from tablets and $447m from smartphones.
  • Looking at conversion rates, tablet devices deliver an average 2.63% compared to just 0.99% on smartphone.
  • Furthermore, the average ticket for purchases made on tablets is $125, 18% higher than the $106 smartphone average ticket.

Or do smartphones top tablets?

  • Contrary to the IR Mobile 500 report, comScore states that smartphones drove twice as many sales as tablets in the first half of 2013.
  • As previously mentioned m-commerce accounted for 10% of digital sales, of which smartphones make up around 6% while tablets made up 3.5%.
  • But while smartphone users outnumber tablet users by a factor greater than 2x, the average spending per device owner is actually 20% higher on tablets.
  • The top-ranked product categories in total m-commerce sales for the first half of 2013 were apparel & accessories, computer hardware, and event tickets, while video games, consoles & accessories showed the highest percentage of m-commerce spending (23.7%).

Time online and showrooming

  • In June 2013 more than half (55%) of all ‘retail related’ time spent online originated on smartphones and tablet devices combined, compared with just 45% coming from desktop devices. 
  • The report from and comScore shows that smartphone internet usage in June 2013 totalled 44% of retail internet minutes, up from 17% in June 2010, while tablet internet usage accounted for 11% of total minutes on retail sites.  
  • Looking at showrooming habits, in Q2 2013 nearly six in 10 (57%) smartphone users visited the same company’s site or app while in-store, compared to 43% who consulted another company’s site or app.
  • Among those smartphone users who went to the same retailer’s site, 59% wanted to see if there was an online discount available. Similarly, among those who checked a different retailer’s site, 92% wanted to see if they could get a better deal on price.
  • Finally the report shows that one-third (35%) of smartphone owners in Q2 2013 used their device to locate a store, one-quarter (24%) used it to find coupons and deals, and 19% used it to look up product availability.

Mobile sales increase 46% in Q4 2013

  • Data from IBM shows that mobile traffic increased 40% in Q4 2013 comapred to the same period in 2012. Overall mobile accounted for 35% of online traffic in Q4.
  • Mobile sales also remained strong, reaching 16.6% of all online sales, up more than 46% over the same period last year.
  • Breaking it down by device, smartphones drove 21.3% of all US online traffic, nearly double that of tablets at 12.8%.
  • However, tablets drove 11.5% of all online sales, more than twice that of smartphones, which accounted for 5%.  Tablet users also averaged $118.09 per order, versus $104.72 per order on smartphone.
  • Finally, in the battle of the operating systems IBM’s data shows that as a percentage of total US online sales in Q4 2013, iOS drove 12.7% vs. 2.6% for Android.
  • IBM’s data is taken from its Digital Analytics Benchmark that tracks millions of transactions from approximately 800 retail sites nationwide. 

US mobile search behaviours

  • Research by Telmetrics shows that 50% of US mobile searchers use their device at the beginning of the search process, while 31% use their device throughout the process.
  • Also, 60% of mobile consumers expect businesses that show up in search results to be within walking or local driving distance.
  • One in three smartphone users searches specifically for contact information, such as phone numbers, maps and driving directions.
  • While three-quarters (74%) of smartphone-related purchases are competed offline, 54% of tablet-related purchases take place online.

Mobile search spend continues to rise

  • The total spend on tablets and smartphones grew 65.9% year-on-year in Q3 2013 to 28.7% of US search budgets.
  • Taken individually, spend on tablets increased 87.6% compared to Q3 2012, while the increase on smartphone was 118.1% in the same period.
  • The Search Agency’s State of Search Report also found that the share of impressions from tablets increased by 34.7% year-on-year and 7.3% compared to Q2 2013. Overall tablet devices accounted for 11.8% of total paid search impressions on Google.
  • In comparison, smartphone impressions fell to 13%, a 6.6% decrease quarter-on-quarter, while desktop impressions remained relatively unchanged.
  • Looking at the stats from Bing/Yahoo, 5.5% of impressions came from tablets, 7.5% came from smartphones and 86.9% came from desktops.
  • For the first time smartphones and tablets made up more than one-third of total clicks on Google in Q3.
  • While average CPC on Google and Bing were nearly identical in Q3 2012, Bing CPC had been increasing at a much faster rate and was 12.7% higher than Google in Q3 2013.
  • The research is based on analysis of US client data from advertisers who had fifteen consecutive months of data with The Search Agency and an established and stable business model from Q3 2012 to Q3 2013.

30% of US shoppers admit to showrooming

  • Almost a third (30%) of US shoppers now use a smartphone while in-store, according to a report into showrooming.
  • The report from Usablenet shows that those using their phones in-store are primarily messaging friends (84%) or using social networks (64%), however just over half use their device to access customer reviews online (51%).
  • This would suggest that roughly 15% of all shoppers are checking online reviews when in-store, and it’s likely that this proportion will increase over time.
  • According to the research, a majority of smartphone owners prefer to make online purchases on larger devices such as a desktop or tablet (77%), therefore the use of kiosks tailors to this existing consumer behaviour.
  • Usablenet’s study involved observing customers in-store, interviews and a survey of 1,500 respondents on their use of smartphones in-store.